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University Chancellor and Writer in Residence Jackie Kay celebrates the opening night of a stage adaptation of her acclaimed memoir Red Dust Road

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay celebrates the opening of Red Dust Road, a stage adaptation of her critically acclaimed memoir, which runs at HOME from 11-21 September 2019. The play chronicles Jackie’s personal and moving search for her birth parents, which took her from Nairn in Scotland to Lagos in Nigeria.

Red Dust Road was first published in 2010 and won the Scottish Book of the Year Award the following year. It has been adapted for the stage by writer Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton. Its run at HOME follows a run at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival and a tour of Scotland.

Jackie, Scotland’s third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate, now lives in Manchester and has held the honorary position of Chancellor at the University of Salford since 2015. 

Jackie is the University’s sixth Chancellor, an honorary position previously held by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and former Secretary General of Amnesty International Irene Khan. The Chancellor is the ceremonial Head of the institution and plays an important part in representing the University of Salford externally and supporting the work of students and the wider community. 

As an advocate for the City of Salford, Jackie will have a key voice in the £800m masterplan, which sees Salford Crescent transformed into a cultural quarter and a new city district in the heart of Salford. The masterplan is a joint venture by the University of Salford and Salford City Council and outlines the vision for Salford’s future and includes exciting arts projects such as the redevelopment of Maxwell Hall as an international concert venue.

Prof Jackie Kay MBE said: “I am immensely proud of Salford’s commitment to its cultural future. During my time as Chancellor at the University of Salford I have been so impressed by the talent and creativity of the people of Salford.   I’m looking forward supporting the new masterplan in any way I can to ensure culture and the arts are at the heart of our city.

Prof Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor, said “Having a Chancellor who is so well-regarded in the arts world for her talent and her inspiring life-story, which this launch at HOME celebrates, is a huge asset for our University. As we set out with big ambitions around our cultural quarter strategy, Jackie’s experience, profile and ideas will be a hugely valued by myself and the whole University community”. 

Alongside her role as Chancellor, Jackie is also Writer in Residence at the University. This role involves contributing major writing commissions to the University to support and enhance the curriculum and the experience of students at the University.

Find out more

Duncan McGraw

0161 295 6560